Over at Aero-news, there was an article about National and Spirit being denied the loan guarantees. The article mentioned:
The consulting firm being utilized by the ATSB in the review of the revenue forecasting techniques of applicants is GRA, which is partially owned by General Electric. General Electric, through their aircraft leasing division GECAS, is one of the largest creditors of America West and US Airways, the only successful applicant and conditionally-approved applicant, respectively. Surely, with the number of reputable financial consulting firms specializing in these matters, the ATSB could have and should have selected a firm with more independent credentials.
The other little tidbit was a post made over at USAviation.com. The poster indicated that it appeared that the votes were rather close to disapprove both airlines applications, but the thing that swayed them to vote against Spirit's and National's application was the September 11th marketing stunts. Spirit is flying folks free across the system and National will fly you to LAS for $1.00. The reasoning seemed to be, "Well, Spirit and National obviously can't fill up their seats, so they're giving everything away on the 11th. If they can't fill up their seats, they must not have a good recovery plan in place, so why should we guarantee their loans?"
Now I don't know if either of these tidbits are true or not, I'm just passing on things I've read to add to the discussion.